For the Cook's Thanksgiving Table: Flowering Kale

While I love the pleasure and the aromas of cooking for Thanksgiving, I also love setting the table and finding ways to make it beautiful. But in the hurry of cooking and hosting, it can be difficult to find time to arrange flowers. So I appreciate arrangements that make it easy. Here's one nearly effortless way to create unique, lovely arrangements for Thanksgiving: Flowering kale.

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Orange, red, and other harvest colors are traditional at Thanksgiving, and orange mums are all but ubiquitous. But I decided to eschew the traditional palette this year in favor of cabbage greens and rich purple, with earthy, muted accents.

The arrangements, then, were dead simple. I picked up a few stems of flowering kale at Whole Foods (this stuff is everywhere this time of year!) and trimmed the stems so that they made a tight, clustered bunch. I plopped them in a bowl with some ultra-cheap purple alstroemeria for a little extra color. The alstroemeria is tightly closed in these photos, but the buds will open up by Thanksgiving.

For other arrangements I included some pink protea (found at Trader Joe's) and some eucalyptus and safari sunset (pulled from the same Trader Joe's arrangement) and some green hypericum berries.

I just love the ruffled, vegetal look of flowering kale. It seems perfect for a cook's table — the harvest of the winter vegetable garden, on the table and in pride of place. The only drawback? The cabbagey smell of the arrangements! They give off a faint yet unmistakable odor of cabbage. But I don't think that this is much of a problem, when there are the aromas of pie, turkey, and gravy to compete!

What kind of flowers are you putting on your Thanksgiving table this year?

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More Ideas for Holiday Arrangements

Here are a few more inexpensive ideas for Thanksgiving flowers — all using flowers that you can find in the supermarket. While I love all those gorgeous centerpieces I see online and at florists, it's so frustrating not to have access to all the abundance of wholesale markets! I have to make do with what's in the grocery store. So these ideas are practical, with that in mind.

Beautiful, Frugal Flowers: 3 Ways to Use White Carnations for Holiday Arrangements
How To Choose Flowers at the Supermarket
How To: Keep Cut Flowers Longer

(Images: Faith Durand)

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